NEW neighbours have become firm friends at a Greenock block of flats thanks to the success of a pioneering project.

Residents at Broomhill Court have been brought together thanks to Suite 16 - a community flat set up by River Clyde Homes.

Staff at the housing association laid on a special bash for residents to celebrate the flat's first birthday.

Michelle Bryce, a retirement housing co-ordinator at RCH, says the flat has reduced social isolation.

She said: "It has been a successful year so we thought we would throw a wee party.

"We couldn't have done it without the support of the tenants as they keep the place going themselves.

"It's had a huge impact on people and has changed their lives.

"It gives them a place where they can go and enjoy different activities.

"There's lots going on every day and night.

"This is the heart of the flats, it brings everybody together."

Margaret Trotter, 83, says she doesn't know what she would do without the flat.

She said: "I love the flat because it brings everyone together.

"I enjoy the bingo and the crochet.

"It would be terrible if we didn't have it."

Sandra Kitchen, 67, is another regular who looks forward to seeing her friends at the flat.

Sandra said: "If it wasn't here then I would just be sitting in myself.

"Now I can come to the flat and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and there's also a breakfast club and a lunch club."

Gwen Jenkins, 67, added: "I suffer from anxiety but this has helped me so much as I'm meeting new people.

"I feel a lot more confident.

"If we need help them Michelle is great - she's like Florence Nightingale."

Charlie Kitchen, 69, said he has also got a lot out of Suite 16 and likes watching football matches there with his neighbours.

He said: "I enjoy watching the football.

"If the flat didn't exist I probably wouldn't know my neighbours at all."